There has always been something profoundly peaceful about Junghans‘ Max Bill Collection. We’ve talked a lot about Junghans here on ABlogtoWatch, even reviewing the Chronoscope about a year ago. In brief, Junghans is a German-based company that takes serious cues from the Bauhaus school of design. Even going so far, obviously, to name one of the collections after Max Bill, the famous professor of the Bauhaus aesthetic. Junghans releases a set every year of a Max Bill watch and desk clock; we reviewed the 2017 edition here. For 2019, Junghans has released a new version the Junghans Max Bill Edition Clock And Watch Set. Limited to an edition of 222 pieces worldwide, it is made up of a Max Bill Chronoscope Chronograph and a mechanical eight-day desk clock. The watch and clock combine two of Max Bill’s main pursuits: painting and purity of design. The watch and clock are both decorated by Max Bill’s painting, “Variation 15,” which, according to the artist, is based on an underlying geometric theme.
These sets from Junghans have always fascinated me. I have always secretly desired to have a mechanical desk clock, despite its complete superfluousness next to a computer. The Chronoscope is one of my favorite offerings from Junghans; it incorporates my favorite complication and maintains a raw simplicity that the Bauhaus is famous for. Chronographs can quickly become crowded and difficult to read, but Junghans avoids this skillfully. Sized at a svelte 40mm, it should wear very nicely. The one thing that’s always bothered me, however, is the mineral crystal. With such a clear dome, it strikes me as an easily damaged element. The addition of sapphire would be apt and welcome.
The clock itself is a pure novelty, but that wouldn’t stop me from using it. I can imagine that the ritual of sitting down at your desk on a Monday and winding that clock is really peaceful — not to mention it would be an excellent conversation starter.
When it boils down, these annual collections from Junghans are very compelling. They offer a lot of value by giving you two impressively mechanical objects in one package. As with many things, the Bauhaus aesthetic will need to be your thing. These pieces are far from flashy, but the Chronoscope in day-to-day wear is a versatile watch. I believe you would feel as at home with it in a suit as you would jeans and a polo. The inclusion of Max Bill’s painting on the back will appeal to enthusiasts and function to create some exclusivity with the pair, especially in regard to the limited edition. I see these annual sets making great gifts, especially for someone just cutting their teeth in the mechanical timepiece world. The Junghans Max Bill Edition Clock And Watch Set For 2019 will be available in a limited edition of 222 pieces, and while pricing information hasn’t been provided, more information should pop up soon. at junghans.de.